Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7259 by Nestor

Posted by nmsindy on January 21st, 2010


Very inventive and satisfying puzzle from Nestor, quite hard, solving time 45 mins.

* = anagram   < = reversed


1 A  NDROMEDA GALAXY    (Gary Oldman  axed)*

10 LEANEST     “Art showing tendency that’s most stripped-down”    Not fully understood.  Definition: most-stripped down, I’d say, and “showing tendency” also suggests ‘lean’ but don’t get the rest

11 HUN GARY    Gary Player (golfer)      Very good


13 POL A RISE    (a lop)<

14 OUT SETS    Closet drama designed to be read, not acted.   Outset = start = opening

16 Shirt IDLING  (in neutral eg car)

19 MET ALL IC(y)     Another one I liked a lot

22 M ELBA    (able)<

24 GEORGIA   (Aggro i.e.)*

25 PER SIAN     Liked this

26 DELIRIUM TREMENS    Effect of too much alcohol.     Jimjams is another name for it, as well as meaning pyjamas, hence the use of ‘nightcaps’, I guess


1 John GAL LIAN O    (nail lag)<


3 BEAT-UP      beat = copper circuit ie police!     UP = in operation (computer term)

4 EAR H OLES    (hear)*   OLÉS  = flamenco cheers!

5 Gloria GAYNOR  (singer)   “gainer”

6 LA M  AR(SEILLA)ISE    French national anthem     bands together = allies<    lam = beat  emerge = arise

8 DEA (D TO T  HE W OR) L   D     Definition = out     D = daughter  child = tot   cut = hew   agreement = deal   finally wanted = last letter

9 YO-YO    This refers to the cellist   Yo-Yo Ma  ie taking a bow

15 S (YLLAB) UB    bally<  = ruddy   (mild swear word)

17 DEMURRED     MURDERED  starting with the heart (DE)!

18 GLAS (NO) S   T      that’s top = t

20 ANGERS    Double definition

21 Truman  CAP (OT)E      (pace)*    old canon = OT (Old Testament)

23 AGED     Dega(s)<

24 Responses to “Independent 7259 by Nestor”

  1. anax says:

    Belting crozzer from a top setter.

    I latched on to 10a fairly quickly as it reminded me of the old “art tutor” clue, where “art” is the archaic form of “are”, matched of course by “-est” at the end, so here we could say “Thou art showing tendency” = “Thou leanest”.

    BTW – at 1a the name you meant to type was Gary Oldman. It’s a superb anagram is that!

  2. anax says:

    Sorry – I meant to include that “art tutor” was a device used as the wordplay for the answer TEA CHEST (i.e. “teachest”).

  3. nmsindy says:

    Typo in 1a corrected, thanks.

  4. NealH says:

    I’m not sure I follow your explanation for 14. I interpreted it more that an “out” (i.e. openly gay) set would be unsuitable for something that was “in the closet”.

  5. Mick H says:

    Some great definitions and sub-defs here: ‘copper circuit’, ‘irony’ and the three famous people defs – ‘Player of golf’, Ma taking a bow’ and ‘singing Gloria’, which almost amounted to a mini-theme.
    I read OUTSETS in the same way as NealH.

  6. Richard Heald says:

    Have to agree with Mick – I doubt whether there’s a setter alive who can beat Nestor for definitional subterfuge. ‘Ma taking a bow’ had me beat, but of course was perfectly fair.

    There’s a mini-theme, I think, that runs through all of Nestor’s puzzles, so I’m pretty sure Neal and Mick’s interpretation of OUTSETS was correct!

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thought this was quite a toughie, and was pleased to finish everything apart from the SE corner where DEMURRED and GLASNOST were beyond me today. But although I didn’t understand the wordplay for all my answers, the clueing was fair everywhere. A super anagram at 1ac, and 19ac, with irony for METALLIC, was equally as good as Phi’s use on Monday of ‘sounds petty’ to clue MIAOWS.

  8. Quixote says:

    Classy stuff from a very able colleague. Tough but fair.

  9. Nestor says:

    Thanks for the comments.

    No one’s mentioned the Nina, a (non-famous) name embedded as a prize in a charity auction.

  10. davey b says:

    Can anyone find the NINA? I can’t.

  11. nmsindy says:

    Not sure about it, but there’s NESTOR in the LEANEST and ACTOR below it.

  12. eimi says:

    The Nina is in a square of unchecked letters

  13. davey b says:


    Can you please be more explicit, or tell me what the NINA is?

    I still can’t find it!

  14. eimi says:

    Start at the M in come true and go east, then south from the G in Hungary, west from the second R in demurred and north from the R in Georgia

  15. IanN14 says:

    I know this is way too late, and I’d got it before eimi’s last message, but it’s Mary Giles Robertson, isn’t it?

  16. IanN14 says:

    …and I had to do that by recreating the grid from the answers above, because I did it online last Thursday, and, unlike the Guardian, when it’s gone, it’s gone.
    Now, back to work…

  17. davey b says:

    Thanks for all your help. But, who is Mary Giles Robertson?

  18. eimi says:

    See comment 9 from the horse’s mouth

  19. nmsindy says:

    Very well hidden, that – well, I couldn’t find it anyway until given the v precise guidance.

  20. davey b says:

    I must be thick. What does “a(non-famous)name embedded as a prize in a charity auction” mean?

  21. nmsindy says:

    I assumed it meant she would see her name in the paper as a prize.

  22. uncle yap says:

    As usual, I did the Indy days after (if only they have a printable version) and thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle. Like many others, I was fooled by yo-yo (bravo, Nestor).

    However, this joyous feeling has been somewhat spoiled by “Who shot JR Ewing?” aka “Who is mary giles robertson?”

    Can someone put me out of my misery?

  23. Nestor says:

    I thought I explained: she’s the person who made the winning bid in an auction for charity, in which I offered the prize of having one’s name hidden in the Independent crossword. (Well, actually, she’s the mother of the winner, but you don’t know who he is, either.)

  24. Bill says:

    Did about half.16a,14a,1d,2d,18d not a chance but pleased with 26a ,15d and a couple of others

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